Worship Order for Sunday

Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren
Long Green & Kanes Rds., near Glen Arm, Md.
August 17, 2008
Worship 10:00 am

      I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”      (Genesis 45:4b-5)

  Morning Praise (9:45 am)           "Bound together"
  Prelude                                    "Grace like rain"

  Call to Worship

*Song                                      "Hear our praises"
                                                 (begun and ended with vs. 1 & 6 of )

                                       "O God, our help in ages past"                             328

*Prayer of Invocation

  Confession                                                                                               691

  Returning our Tithes and Offerings

  Offering Song                      "Trading my sorrows"
                                        (Please sign the attendance pad and pass it on)

  Scripture                                     Psalm 133


  Sharing a joy, a concern, a word of testimony or praise
                                 (please be brief, and aware of God’s listening presence)

  Hymn                        "Seek ye first the kingdom of God"                          324

  Pastoral Prayer

  Scripture                                  Genesis 45:1-15

  Message            From 'you sold me out' to 'God sent me'

*Song                                      "Multiply your love"



#'s are from Hymnal: A Worship Book

Worship leaders - see basic guidelines

Call to Worship

Leader: Actions of others sometimes land us in places
                we never expected to be.

People: God has sent us ahead to preserve life.

Leader: A wrong tum results in a chance to help another.

People: God sends us ahead to preserve life.

Leader: An illness or death brings new life.

People: God sends us ahead to preserve life.

Leader: One light in the darkness brings hope.

People: God sends us ahead to preserve life.

Leader: God is calling you and me to worship this morning,
                so that we might be prepared to go on ahead and preserve life.

All:        Praise be to God, our Savior, in whom we trust and believe!

by Lucinda Barnum-Steggerda, interim pastor
La Porte, IN Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"

Prayer of Invocation

God of challenge and change,
         you take the negative and turn it into positive.
You take our brokenness and make us whole.
We bring all that we are to you,
         hoping and believing that you will fill us with your Spirit,
         and then send us ahead to preserve life.

by Lucinda Barnum-Steggerda, interim pastor
La Porte, IN Church of the Brethren

Church of the Brethren Living Word Bulletin
Anchor/Wallace, Sleepy Eye MN 56085, "The Living Word Series"


Leader: Almighty God, Spirit of purity and grace 
                 whose dwelling is with the humble and contrite heart,
                     hear your children's confession of sin and grant us mercy.
             For all that has been evil in our lives;
                 for unholy thoughts and impure motives,
                 for any scorn of goodness, trifling with truth,
                     and indifference to beauty,
                 for being petty when we could have been gracious,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For lack of love toward you,
                     whose love has never failed;
                 for doubt in your providence,
                 for acts of ingratitude,
                 and for disobedience to visions we have been able to see,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For the wrong we have done our neighbors;
                 for silence in the face of war,
                 for neglect of charity and failure in justice,
                 for forgetfulness of other's pain,
                 and for advantage taken of another's weakness,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: For our faulty following of the Master;
                     our slow faith in his power to save,
                     our timid, hesitant answers to his call of service,
                     our insensibility to the meaning of the cross;
                 for all that mars our discipleship
                     and makes it difficult for others to believe in him,
People: forgive us, O God.
Leader: May God, who is almighty and merciful
                 forgive our sins,
                 empower us to overcome temptation,
                 and enable us to love as Jesus loved.
People: AMEN 

Hymnal #691 - adapted from a litany of repentance,
Edward K. Ziegler, The Adventurous Future,
ed. Paul H. Bowman, © 1959 Brethren Press.

Returning our Tithes and Offerings

            Confession is an offering. We have placed our sin, the ways in which we have fallen short of who God created us to be, before the Lord. "Just as I am, without one plea," the old hymn states, "but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come." We turn a corner now in our worship, trading our sorrows, our shame, our sickness, our pain, laying them down for the joy of the Lord. As the Praise Band leads us in the next song, you are invited to return your financial offering to God. Jesus Christ is God's "Yes" to us. Let’s us respond with our own "Yes, Amen" in return… Ushers?


            This is a flexible moment in this morning's worship. Planned for next Sunday is a time during worship and the Sunday School hour for those who participated in a work camp or went to church camp this summer to share of their experience. As one of our Dominican Republic work campers will be heading back to college next weekend, we wanted to give her the opportunity to share some reflections on that event. If she is not ready (her family is on vacation this preceding week), we'll go in a different direction, with the pastor reflecting briefly on Psalm 133 [maybe even inviting any little ones present to come forward and talk about living together peacefully with brothers and sisters - the image of oil being poured on the head is delightfully tangible for children who take things very literally], before turning us toward the sharing of joys and concerns.

Pastoral Prayer


written closer to the time (if not at the moment)



         In the last chapter of the Bible’s first book, Genesis, we find this blessing from the lips of Joseph to his brothers, a fitting end to this story of Jacob's sons, and an appropriate benediction for us now. Listen beyond Joseph's words and hear the voice of Jesus sending us forth from this time and place.

         "Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." (Genesis 50:20-21a)


Tercentennial Minute (bulletin insert)
Alexander Mack Defends the Gospel to Count Charles August of Marienborn

            Following the baptism of Eva Elizabeth Hoffmann in Marienborn on August 21, in 1711 an edict dated September 4 was issued expelling her mother and Alexander Mack from the district.  Mack wrote directly to Count Charles August, who had issued the edict, defending the act of baptism as biblical.  And he wrote:

            Now I will freely and publicly confess that my crime is that Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, desires that we do what we are doing – that the sinner shall repent and believe in the Lord Jesus and should be baptized in water upon his confession of faith.  He should then seek to carry out everything Jesus had commanded and publicly bequeathed in His Testament.  If we are doing wrong herein, against the revealed word of the Holy Scriptures, be it in teaching, way of life, or conduct, we would gladly receive instruction.  If, however, no one can prove this on the basis of the Holy Scriptures, and yet persecutes us despite this, we would gladly suffer and bear it for the sake of the teachings of Jesus Christ….”

            The baptisms continued.  A report in November of 1712 noted "Last night the Baptist Alexander Mack arrived here."  The authorities warned Mack he was not to perform any baptisms and he is reported to have said that he only came to visit good friends and planned only to stay overnight.  However the report went on to state that he had soon performed four more baptisms. His expulsion soon followed.

            A hearing was ordered and one of the clergy called to take part suggested that "…friendly and affectionate persuasion will accomplish and avail more against this than harsh methods or punishment."  Indeed, no severe action was taken against them.

            But a year and a half later Mack returned and baptized Peter Becker and his wife,.  The authorities had not consider the matter critical until then.  Becker was not one of the settlers who merely lived in the Marienborn region.  He was a subject of the Count.  The Brethren were expelled once and for all, and for most of the remainder of their sojourn in Europe were economic refugees. 

            It was in part their poverty that would lead to their emmigration to the new world in 1719.  Peter Becker would become the first minister among the Brethren in the Colonies.

And that’s the Tercentennial Minute for Sunday, August 17, 2008

by Frank Ramirez, pastor of the Everett, PA Church of the Brethren
posted by permission                        
The Everett church graciously makes available these weekly vignettes from Brethren history
to all who are interested during this 300th anniversary year of our denomination.
Frank will be the guest preacher for our Homecoming on October 26, 2008
(this is our congregation's 100th anniversary year)

(para traducir a español, presione la bandera de España)


Interested in Sunday School?
Below is a growing list of possible sites to visit. As you discover others, please let us know.

International Lesson:
Faith and Life Resources
Mennonite Publishing House

International Lesson:
Mennonite Weekly Review

(scroll down on left to "Sunday School lessons)

International Lesson:
Christian Standard
(one week ahead)

International Lesson:
Living Web Sunday School Project

International Lesson:
Adult Bible Studies
from The United Methodist Publishing House
(click "supplemental resources" and "current events supplement" under both the "Student" and "Teacher" sections in the left hand column)

While one of our adult classes follows the International lesson above (see also), using
A Guide for Biblical Studies,
published quarterly by our denomination,
another class often uses one of the
Good Ground series,
also published by Brethren Press.

For children and youth, we use the new
Gather Round curriculum
(developed jointly by the Church of the Brethren and the Mennonite Church)


©2008 Peter L. Haynes
(unless otherwise stated, worship resources were written by him)


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